Murine embryonic stem (mES) cells are pluripotent cells derived from the inner cell mass of the preimplantation blastocyst. These cells are primitive and undifferentiated and have the potential to become a wide variety of specialized cell types. Mouse ES cells can be regarded as a versatile biological tool that has led to major advances in our understanding of cell and developmental biology. To study specific gene function in early developmental events, gene knockout approaches have been traditionally used, however, this is a time-consuming and expensive approach. Recently, we have shown that small interfering RNA is an effective strategy to knockdown target gene expression, during ES cell differentiation, and consequently, one can alter cell fates in ES-derived differentiated cells. This method will be useful to test the function of a wide variety of gene products using the ES cell differentiation system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology